Presentation of Research Findings

Presentation of Research Findings

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7452-1.ch003

Abstract

Most of the research participants believed their caregiving responsibilities adversely affected their subjective wellbeing. Some of the research participants believed their caregiving responsibilities had a positive psychological effect on their subjective wellbeing. Meanwhile, a significant number of research participants believed they were innately capable of handling their caregiving responsibilities. Research participants had the perception that their spiritual beliefs were positively influential to their caregiver roles and their subjective wellbeing. Research participants seemed to rely on their spiritual convictions as the lynchpin in sustaining themselves in their roles as informal caregivers as it related to their subjective wellbeing. The variable family support was a significant factor. Similarly, the vast majority of research participants believed their resilience allowed them to be optimistic about their performance as caregivers. A significant number of the research participants believed they had limited time for leisure activities but felt this did not negatively affect their performance as informal caregivers.
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Restatement Of The Research Purpose

The purpose of this mixed methods study was to examine how the variables of self-efficacy, spirituality, social support, resilience, and leisure participation influenced the subjective wellbeing of informal caregivers. The notion of how to enhance the subjective wellbeing of informal caregivers has garnered sufficient attention recently as the need for home-based care has increased exponentially. Notwithstanding this claim, it is paramount that further exploration of the aforementioned factors be supported by leaders of caregiving organizations, the medical community, researchers, and the general populace in the hopes that informal caregivers become more aware of influences central for them to maintain or enhance the quality of their lives during their tenure as caregivers.

Self-efficacy, in its purest sense, is a person’s own belief that he or she can accomplish a specific goal or task. This concept holds much significance to informal caregivers as they encounter the challenges and triumphs associated with their position. It is germane to understand how informal caregivers’ levels of self-efficacy evolve as they embrace their role.

Social support research pertaining to the informal caregiver has revealed various factors that make it of essential significance to a caregiver’s wellbeing. A better understanding of its relevance to caregivers is of critical significance and was examined in this study.

Resilience, for the purpose of this study, was defined as the “positive or successful adaption, competence and functioning in the face of stressful experiences” (Gaugler et al., 2007, p. 38). Early researchers on resilience mainly explored the resilience levels of children in adverse settings. However, over the last few decades, researchers have also been examining how resilience affects caregivers and their abilities to manage individuals with chronic illnesses. The current study was designed to determine whether this concept has similar relevancy for the informal caregiver.

The influence of spirituality among the informal caregiver population is frequently credited as a dominantly positive element in helping them elevate their wellbeing and allowing them to put their caregiving role in perspective (Buck, 2006). This variable was included in the current study as the participants were members from two religious institutions.

Last, participation in leisure activities can help caregivers attain additional skills and knowledge, nurture social relationships, embrace positive emotions, and improve their quality of life (Wakui et al., 2012). This study was designed to distinguish whether participation in varied leisure activities could contribute to better subjective wellbeing for informal caregivers.

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